How did Apple or Samsung become as big as they are today in the mobile phone industry? Interested in starting the next Apple or Samsung or want to be on the lookout for companies that will do as well as them? Here is the definitive five-step guide to becoming successful in the crowded and uber competitive mobile phone industry :-
- Spend more on marketing and less on R&D: Chances of a product which is completely ripped off from another product will be successful than one that is unique but poorly marketed. Take the Apple iPhone that has been at the heart of Apple’s revenues and surge over the years. All of the features of the iPhone may not be original, but they are craftily implemented and masterfully marketed. Then look at how Nokia fell behind with Symbian, failing to properly market the OS’s worth and as a result not get much developer support.
- Differentiation is key: Having a unique feature that is not available to the competition is the way to success. Take for example the Galaxy line’s success with its SuperAMOLED displays and Exynos processors which were exclusive to Samsung until very recently. Then again, it’s of utmost importance to market these features successfully. The iPhone 4’s retina display is the best example here as it made everyone care about pixel densities and forced other companies to release products with similar displays.
- Release Date: Timing your product release and announcement dates closely are of essence. The mobile phone industry moves at break-neck pace and if your product announcement and its release dates are even at a month’s gap, it means you’re too late and other companies are going to be trying their best to steal your thunder by releasing something better. Take Nokia’s decision to stop its support for Symbian and switch to Windows Phone. It took six months between that announcement and the first actual Nokia Lumia device to be available and by that time Nokia’s Symbian smartphone sales diminished quicker than imagined and made Samsung’s overtaking as the number one manufacturer (in terms of sales) that much easier.
- Pricing and Availability: Make your devices just a tad cheaper than the competitors’ one. It’s that slightest difference that can go a long way. Also, making your device available worldwide might not always be a good thing if your brand is not strong enough. Release your product where you know there is a market for it (and there is always a market for it if it’s local). Just see Micromax and the recent success they have been enjoying thanks to their smart pricing and local availability.
- Luck: Nothing can beat pure, dumb luck and then get tactlessly rebranded as innovation (North American tend to worship tactless rebranding). Just ask Apple. Or better yet, don’t. There’s a high chance they’ll file a lawsuit and take more money from you. They are an impressive tech company, but are they impressive enough to be the most valuable tech company in the world? No.
So there you have it: five easy steps backed up by history.